Novice Novice - 1 year ago 89
Python Question

time complexity of sorting a dictionary

I was wondering what is the time complexity of sorting a dictionary by key and sorting a dictionary by value.

for e.g :

for key in sorted(my_dict, key = my_dict.get):

in the above line , what is the time complexity of sorted ? If it is assumed that quicksort is used, is it O(NlogN) on an average and O(N*N) in the worst case ?

and is the time complexity of sorting by value and sorting by key are different ? Since , accessing the value by its key takes only O(1) time, both should be same ?


Answer Source

sorted doesn't really sort a dictionary; it collects the iterable it receives into a list and sorts the list using the Timsort algorithm. Timsort is decidedly not a variant of quicksort, it is a hybrid algorithm closer to merge sort. According to wikipedia, its complexity is O(n log n) in the worst case, with optimizations to speed up the commonly encountered partially ordered data sets.

Since collecting the dict keys and values are both O(n), the complexity of both sorts is the same, determined by the sort algorithm as O(n log n).

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